Friday, March 12, 2010

How to Grow a Step Garden

Items Needed:
Garden Tools--Love and patience
Flower Seeds--Each Child will bear their own distinct blossoms

1. Provide a space for the garden

God will provide a space for your step garden. Our garden was started December 30, 1979, when I married my soul mate and we combined our two families. Each of us had four children, making a full garden of eight distinct flowers. God truly blessed us.

2. Pull out all weeds and grass

The most important part of preparing the garden for growth is to remove obstacles. Knowing that there will be disagreements and jealousy, and accepting this as being normal is the first step. Allowing each individual to find their own part of the garden in which to grow will eliminate even the most stubborn of obstacles.

3. Turn over the soil and water.

Creating a new environment which is a unique blending of old and new will provide the fertile atmosphere for a successful garden.

4. Don't get the soil too wet.

Healthy doses of love are necessary, but be careful not to over saturate. Each child must be loved equally. Children are quick to know how to tip the sprinkling can to get too much love. The smart gardener needs to carefully sprinkle each plant in their garden with equal amounts of love.

5. Plant each seed in its own space.

Knowing that each child is a unique individual, and allowing them the freedom to develop will create a garden of beautiful blooms. You will have daisies, roses, marigolds, sunflowers, pansies and many other varieties. This truly is a miracle of love.

6. Check daily to make sure the soil is damp.

As your children grow, make sure their environment changes to accommodate their needs. You must allow them the space to make their own decisions, and teach them to live with their choices. Acceptance of their own, as well as other's faults, is vital. What one may see as a fault, another may see as a strength. Teach them tolerance, and give them the security of a loving haven.

7. Continual nurturing required.

Your garden will be eternal. New blossoms will take root and sprout into a new and unique bouquet. Continue to love and care for it, spreading sunshine and sprinkles of happiness throughout your life. Your garden will give back to you what you continue to sow!

In my book, JOSHUA'S HOPE, Hope Courtland risks her life to save her beloved stepson, Joshua. In this book, I sought to show the depths of my love for my own stepchildren. God bonds our family together, just as He bound Hope's new family. (Published by White Rose Publishing)


Kara Lynn Russell said...

Wonderful piece Carol Ann! I became an "instant mom" when I married my husband. I'm very thankful that I was able to be a stay-at-home mom so I could bond with my new children. Yes, it does take time and effort, but it's worth it.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

What a BEAUTIFUL analogy of blending two families into one.

You should think about sending this to a parenting magazine.

JMHO of course :-)

Carol Ann said...

Kara, I'm happy you can stay at home to bond with your children. And, it is definitely worth it!

Pamela, thanks for the comment. Several people have told me I should send it in...maybe I will.

Robin Bayne said...

Love it! I have a stepson and love the comparisons :)

Carol Ann said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Robin. Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment.